Source: News Bharati English09 Aug 2016 19:33:49

New Delhi, August 9: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Employee's Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2016 that would raise the cap on amount of compensation to be taken up by high courts. The Bill seeks to amend the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 which provides payment of compensation to employees and their dependents in the case of injury by industrial accidents, including occupational diseases.

The amendment bill makes it obligatory for the employer to inform the employee of his rights to compensation, in writing as well as through electronic means. The bill also provides for increase in penalty for contravention of the Act to Rs 50,000 from the current Rs 5000 that may be later raised to Rs 1 lakh.

Section 30 of the Employees' Compensation Act 1923 provides for appeal in high courts whenever the disputed amount of compensation is more than Rs. 300. The bill seeks to raise this to Rs. 10,000, which may be further increased through a notification later.

"This bill is going to benefit the entire organised workforce in the country. This government is pro worker and pro labour”, Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in his concluding remarks in the Lok Sabha.

The proposed Bill is based on the report of the Law Commission which intends to close more litigation at the level of commissioner for workmen's compensation appointed by state governments for a particular area. The Act provides under section 30A that the labour commissioner could exercise discretion to withhold payment of an employee whenever an appeal in a high court is filed.

The legislation proposes to omit Section 30A. With this omission, the amount can be withheld only when there is a stay or order to that effect by the high court where the appeal has been filed by the employer.